The subconscious mind causes us to behave in ways we don’t even realize. We might find ourselves doing something without thinking about it, and we don’t stop to ask ourselves why, either. The inner psyche is deep and complex but that doesn’t mean it can’t be shaped with some clever hacks.

Recently, a Reddit user asked everyone to share the psychological tricks that blew their mind when they first heard them. Bored Panda has collected the finest ones to help you become a master of the mind.

From ones to help you realize yourself more fully, to ones that will help you to get what you want from others, there are lots of valuable tips here. And some funnier ones too! See what you can learn and check out our other collections here and here too!

#1

30 Psychological Tricks That "Blew People's Minds" When They First Learned Them If someone makes a derogatory joke about you in a group setting, play dumb and ask them to explain. It’s not funny the second time and they will look like an AH

Mundane-Flounder1061 , Kate Kalvach Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
11 months ago

This works really well. And you don't have to play dumb either.

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Bored Panda spoke with Dr. Tara Well, a professor of psychology and creator of the 'Mirror Meditation' technique. This mindful practice is based on the neuroscience of 'mirroring' and her psychological research on stress-management, self-compassion, and emotional resilience. The technique teaches people how to increase self-awareness, confidence and personal presence; manage stress and emotions; and develop self-compassion.

If you’re interested in learning how to use mirrors and reflections for your own psychological benefit, you should visit her website and pre-order her upcoming book on Mirror Meditation. She’s always active on Psychology Today, so be sure to read more of her published writings there too. 

Dr. Well told Bored Panda more about her unique technique and experience in psychological studies. She said, “As a psychology professor, I study mirrors and reflections. People often tell me that they hate looking in the mirror because they can make them feel self-conscious.”

As everyone has a mirror of some sort, she goes on to explain the psychological effects of them. She said, “We often use the mirror to check out how we look to others–as in morning grooming rituals and the stealth ‘spinach check’. But if you focus too much on how others view you, you may worry that they are judging you."

#2

I taught teenagers in a really tough London school. A colleague taught me a brilliant trick to get a kid to calm down when they were angry:

Look them calmly in the eye and say “what do you want to happen next?”

Most of the time they were so caught up in emotion they hadn’t thought about the consequences of their dickery. As soon as you prod them to think about consequences, most of them would calm down straight away.

Celtic_Cheetah_92 Report

Kai Scadden
Community Member
11 months ago

SMRT

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#3

30 Psychological Tricks That "Blew People's Minds" When They First Learned Them Minimizing. If you feel like something is a really big chore or you just can't get yourself to get up and go do something, minimize it to a small insignificant part. Instead of doing all the garden work, say you're just going to take the tools out so when you want to work you can. 90% of the time once you're up and doing the small thing, the big bad chore doesn't seem so bad now and you end up doing it.

TroyMcpoyle , Markus Spiske Report

kasa alex
Community Member
11 months ago

I do this a lot, like stacking all the dishes neatly so later in the day or tomorrow it doesn't feel like such a chore to actually wash. Or getting the vaccine cleaner out, then actually doing the vacuuming the nxt day

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So, how can we get out of this uncomfortable state? She continued, “First, realize you have a choice on where you put your attention. Then, deliberately shift your focus. Shift your attention off yourself and onto others.”

“For instance, if you are giving a presentation, focus your attention on your audience and build rapport with them. Don’t focus on yourself and how nervous you are or how you may look to them. Focus your attention outward instead.”

"In a conversation in which you start to feel uncomfortably self-conscious, shift the focus onto the other person by asking them a question and noticing how they are feeling instead," she explained. "When we feel anxious, we tend to focus on ourselves, which makes us even more nervous. Remember to volley the attention back and forth in conversation—don’t hold onto the ball of self-consciousness."

Dr. Well's advice goes to show that it's all in our head and we can make a conscious decision about our behavior, so long as we keep this advice with us.

#4

30 Psychological Tricks That "Blew People's Minds" When They First Learned Them At a garage sale, my father wanted $5 for a desk. It sat all day. Eventually, he wrote $10, and $20 above the $5 and crossed them out making it look like he'd dropped the price twice. It was gone in under 30 minutes.

mike_e_mcgee Report

Whatshername
Community Member
11 months ago

Unfortunately shops do this too

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#5

30 Psychological Tricks That "Blew People's Minds" When They First Learned Them If you don’t look a toddler in the eyes after it falls or hurts itself and just act like all is fine, there’s a good chance they won’t cry

MediocrePen8710 , Josh Withers Report

DUN DUN
Community Member
11 months ago

This ALWAYS works

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"In a conversation in which you start to feel uncomfortably self-conscious, shift the focus onto the other person by asking them an interested question and noticing how they are feeling instead," she explained. "When we feel anxious, we tend to focus on ourselves, which makes us even more nervous. Remember to volley the attention back and forth in conversation—don’t hold onto the ball of self-consciousness."

#6

30 Psychological Tricks That "Blew People's Minds" When They First Learned Them If you ask someone to move over to an arbitrary different location to talk (could be 5 feet away) they are much more likely to listen to you and follow instructions. (One of my tricks as an elementary school teacher.)

jerikkoa , Christina Report

Alexia
Community Member
11 months ago

Works well with adults too.

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#7

30 Psychological Tricks That "Blew People's Minds" When They First Learned Them Stop talking.

If you want to get more information out of someone, just let them speak. There are times in a conversation that things stop. Most people want to fill this themselves, but don't. Let the other person do it.

This is especially useful if you think the person and their story is full of shit.

I-am-a-meat-popcycle , LinkedIn Sales Solutions Report

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
11 months ago

It's technique the police uses during "interviews" to make people give up their right to keep their mouth shut. Just be silent and wait till they can't bear the silence anymore and start to ramble.

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#8

30 Psychological Tricks That "Blew People's Minds" When They First Learned Them By walking with your head and eyes forward like you’re deliberately going somewhere, people will move out of your way. I first tried this in a crowed mall when I was 14 and was blown away. I felt so powerful at 14 lol.

KidOmen , Tyler Nix Report

Christian
Community Member
11 months ago

Good tip. I usually walk after turning my head 90° and looking directly upwards.

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#9

If you look and sound like you know what you are doing, odds are a fair amount of people will think you know what you are doing.

Even if you don't

IwasBlindedbyscience Report

hyperunknown
Community Member
11 months ago

My dad did this as a test with me when I was about 20. I had never been at his workplace, he'd been changing recently so the people there didn't know me yet. He got me clothes that looked like DHL/Bring/UPS-type clothes, like the delivery-type, right. He said, while he had his break and wasn't there, just go into the reception, say hello while just walking past, go through the hallway, and then the second office to the right (his). Calmly unplug the computer and take it with you and walk out, saying bye as you exit. Worked flawlessly. He worked as a security consultant and basically that was what got them in trouble - noone said anything because it LOOKED legit.Social engineering as it's finest, innit. I never forgot it and I've used it on other occasions to let me out of a jam.

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#10

Working as a waitress, if I noticed a customer was getting particularly impatient and it looked like they were going to be rude to me when I went over, when I would take the food over and before they got the chance to speak I’d say something like ‘So sorry for the wait, thanks for being so lovely about it!’

It seemed to catch them off guard and paint them as the ‘nice guy’ in my eyes, and more often than not their expression would change from pissed off to surprised, then they’d say something like ‘oh no problem it’s okay’ so they could keep being the nice guy and feel good about themselves and I avoid a chewing out.

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SlartyBlartFast
Community Member
11 months ago

in my corporate job, they been telling me to never say 'sorry for keeping you waiting' or 'sorry for being late' - rather say 'thank you for your patience' and the likes

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#11

i tend to procrastinate. a lot.

I've given myself this rule where i will internally count down from whatever number and when i hit zero i have to do the thing or else.

example: in the shower, depressed, letting the water run over me. i dont wanna get out but I'm wasting water.

begin counting down from 30. 29. 28. 27... 3. 2 1. put hand on dial and turn it off without any thought. the only thought is "zero"

i do this for lots of things

-jesse-james- Report

Iris Jans
Community Member
11 months ago

Best trick to get out of a nice hot shower! When I REALLY don't want to stop, I sometimes slow down my counting, or I revert to decimal numbers. ;-)

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#12

If a toddler does something to get your attention, do the same.

Once my nephew dropped on the floor and started having a tantrum by shouting and kicking.

I did the same. He looked at me shocked and confused, got up and walked away lol

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WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
11 months ago

Ok, try doing that in the middle of the shopping mall. Security will escort you out.

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#13

30 Psychological Tricks That "Blew People's Minds" When They First Learned Them People who feel guilty will over explain to justify their actions.

I do insurance claims. I don't need to know why you backed into a pole, I don't care. It's covered, all I need is the incident and damage description. But man some people feel so bad about it, they won't stop going on about how the sun was in their eyes but they should have looked better and they can't believe it happened, and they have a reversing camera and sensors which were supposed to help but they didn't and they're so angry with themselves and it's a new car and they can't believe they've done this.

JackofScarlets , The Creative Exchange Report

NsG
Community Member
11 months ago

Feeling guilty and being guilty are totally different things though.

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#14

You know how small yappy dogs and tiny mice running around are terrifying despite us logically being much larger? Well in Kendo there is the "disarming scream" where you run at your opponent with a loud scream. When I've attempted doing my kendo practise, despite warning the person of what I'm about to do they inevitably drop the sword and can't take it. I've used this trick even without my old bamboo practise sword. Ie I ran at a violent mugger who was beating a young student. I'm a small woman but the guy still ran off. I've also used this trick to literally throw a guy more than twice my size (don't recommend unless you know how to do a judo throw)

So basically, if you don't have an alternative, loud scream coinciding with running at your opponent works very well at disarming someone.

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Sheila McEnany Markowitz
Community Member
11 months ago

I have chased quite a few coyotes away using this method, as well as stopped people with nefarious intent from carrying out said intent.

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#15

30 Psychological Tricks That "Blew People's Minds" When They First Learned Them If you find yourself overthinking, stare at a fixated point. To fetch memories, your eyes need to move. So if you’re staring at a singular point, it’s very difficult to overthink.

chaoticsushi , Nathan Dumlao Report

Riley Quinn
Community Member
11 months ago

The saccadic eye movements that people make when thinking have been largely ignored in the eye-movement literature. Nevertheless, there is evidence that such eye movements are systematically related to internal thought processes. On average, people move their eyes about twice as often when searching through long-term memory as they do when engaged in tasks that do not require such search. This pattern occurs when people are in face-to-face situations, when they are in the dark, and when they have their eyes closed. Because these eye movements do not appear to serve visual processing, we refer to them as “nonvisual” eye movements and discuss why the eyes move during thinking that does not involve vision. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0963721412436810 BTW: This actually works! I use it whenever my mind starts to go off the rails.

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#16

30 Psychological Tricks That "Blew People's Minds" When They First Learned Them Smile as soon as you first see people (you want to like you) as you greet them, like hey buddy how you doin ?! And look genuinley happy to see them... dont matter whether its girls, guys, young, old.. itll make them excited to see you like every time i dont get it but theres phsycology to it and it actually changed my life

tyler-warner , Lesly Juarez Report

kasa alex
Community Member
11 months ago

I accidentally did this with a girl I didn't know, who I mistook for a friend when I was out surfing. I acted so happy to see her that she thought I was really kind and friendly, and we ended up becoming friends as well (:

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#17

30 Psychological Tricks That "Blew People's Minds" When They First Learned Them Talking myself to sleep. I’ll think things like, “my bed is sooooo comfortable. Sleeping is soooo easy. I love sleeping. Sleeping is great.” Instead of agonizing over why I can’t sleep. Positively reinforcing myself is my new lullaby lmao

HarrisonRyeGraham , Zohre Nemati Report

Eppe
Community Member
11 months ago (edited)

Framing. Not just useful for sleeping. It may seem too simple to work, but I believe you can gradually shift your perception of the world (note I said shift and not change entirely)

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#18

30 Psychological Tricks That "Blew People's Minds" When They First Learned Them My first workplace trick that I still use regularly: people will procrastinate with their own work, but drop everything to quickly "correct" someone else's work.

Example: Bill needs to provide a paragraph of text to go in your company's brochure. He's been dragging his feet forever and it's the last thing you're waiting on but he keeps putting it off. Go to where his paragraph should be and write a shitty version of what he's supposed to do. Don't invest more than ten seconds. "We do widget services. We are good at it. Our services are good for your widget needs." Send it to Bill saying "hey I filled in the last paragraph about widget services; can you check and make sure it meets your criteria, and I'll send it along to the boss for approval?" You'll have Bill's polished, fully composed text in about ten minutes.

Much_Difference , Arlington Research Report

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
11 months ago

Unless Bill couldn't care less and he's happy you did his job.

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#19

30 Psychological Tricks That "Blew People's Minds" When They First Learned Them "The Wally Reflector"

Thanks to Dilbert-man Scott Adams, I learned the Wally Reflector at a young age. It's very simple. If someone tries to pawn their work off on you, ask them to do something for you first related to said task. 9 times out of 10 they'll leave and try to find someone else.

"Hey can you finish this report for me? I'm going on vacation and want to leave a little early to beat traffic to the airport."

"Sure, I'd love to help! But, could you possibly send me a quick email with a bulletpoint list of what needs to be in the report, just so I don't miss anything?"

"Uhhhh, on second thought..."

1234_Temp_qwer Report

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
11 months ago

Reality: "Great, thanks buddy, sure I'll get on it right away. You'll have that mail in the next 20 minutes." And next you see them running for the door to catch their plane.

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#20

Nod and agree and move the fuck on.

If someone with a strong/difficult personality is demanding you do/try ____, (and you don’t want to but know they’ll argue) just agree and move the fuck on. No reason to argue lol makes it so much more simple.

Ie: Barb: You really need to use this brand of diapers. They’re the best. I’ve had 22 kids

Me: Oh awesome thanks for the tip!

End of story. They never ask again, they just want to talk. To put their input in ANYTHING lol.

toxicrhythms Report

Cardboardpanda
Community Member
11 months ago

Paraphrasing: Captain Kirk said to Spok "How do you deal with feeble minded, arrogant people?" Spok replied "That's easy, I just agree with them" Kirk responded "That's ridiculous" Spok concluded "Yes, you're absolutely right"

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#21

30 Psychological Tricks That "Blew People's Minds" When They First Learned Them A therapist told me that anger is a secondary emotion and should be treated like a traffic light, you should stop at yellow before jumping to red. Ask yourself what was the first thing come to your mind triggered you is it being ignored, feeling trapped, unheard, insecure etc... Because your first thought is what you actually feel your anger comes last.

I'm a calm natured person rarely get angry, this advice helped me to identify my weaknesses and anxiety. You can apply this to any emotion not just anger.

bones_of_an_angel , Priscilla Du Preez Report

BorPand8
Community Member
11 months ago

I dunno, whenever I meet someone who denies that anger is a "real" emotion I hear that as "I am extremely passive-aggressive. You should run away now." I'm not saying you should immediately act out your anger, but you should be able to feel it and acknowledge that it's real.

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#22

Whenever my toddler refuses to do something, I start doing it. Then they get all angry cause they wanna do it.

Idiots

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A girl
Community Member
11 months ago

So my grandson

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#23

30 Psychological Tricks That "Blew People's Minds" When They First Learned Them Don't know what to say but want to keep the conversation going?

Repeat the last phrase of the last thing the person said as a question.

Eg: As a question?

Yes. As a question. Raise your voice so it's clear that you want them to go on.

aciddd123 , Christina Report

DUN DUN
Community Member
11 months ago

This is the only technique I know for making one sided convos carry on

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#24

30 Psychological Tricks That "Blew People's Minds" When They First Learned Them Cunningham's Law, the best way to get an answer on the internet is to post the question with a misspelling, anal people will be drawn to correct and mock you and one will invariably have the answer you're looking for.

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Eppe
Community Member
11 months ago

The law says to post a wrong answer, not a misspelling in the question. And I have hereby proven the law. Well done!

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#25

30 Psychological Tricks That "Blew People's Minds" When They First Learned Them Give young kids the illusion they are making a decision to do something that you really want them to do.

Kid won’t eat their carrots and wants dessert now? You say to them do you want to eat your carrots first and then dessert? Or would you like to save your dessert for tomorrow and eat your carrots now?

Event_horizon- , Angela Mulligan Report

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
11 months ago (edited)

Kid: "I want to save the carrots for tomorrow and have dessert now, thank you."

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#26

30 Psychological Tricks That "Blew People's Minds" When They First Learned Them When you want/need something from someone, ask them for help with it. Rather than "hey can you do this for me?", say "hey can you help me with this?" People are more inclined to be helpful than to just take on the task for you

CaptainScotchTape , Priscilla Du Preez Report

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
11 months ago

But when you've been around long enough, you know that as soon as you start to help, the other party suddenly has things to do elsewhere so you end up doing their work for them. Best way to avoid this is saying that you have some worked lined up that can't wait, but if they start now, you'll come back to them to help them finish.

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#27

30 Psychological Tricks That "Blew People's Minds" When They First Learned Them You can give a person talking on their phone an object and they will most likely take it because they are focused on the call. I regularly hand people empty plates, most of the time they just keep talking and don't notice what I'm doing.

PleaseTakeThisName , Jim Reardan Report

Martha Meyer
Community Member
11 months ago

And what exactly is the point of handing someone an empty plate?

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#28

30 Psychological Tricks That "Blew People's Minds" When They First Learned Them Whenever I’m feeling nervous or anxious about something I just tell myself how excited I am to do it and trick myself into actually calming down. Works well for presentations

lilitaaa , Radu Florin Report

Janus Preez
Community Member
11 months ago

No....I'm just nervous

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#29

30 Psychological Tricks That "Blew People's Minds" When They First Learned Them If you want someone to like you, ask them questions about themselves.

19Todash , Christina Report

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
11 months ago

Doubt, I'd feel like you're interrogating me. And I'm sure I'm not the only one.

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#30

30 Psychological Tricks That "Blew People's Minds" When They First Learned Them If you want someone to be nicer to you, compliment them behind their back. If they find out they'll perceive you as nicer as most people say bad things behind other's backs. Either way if they act shitty towards you they seem like the bad guy, and because its behind their back it doesn't look like ass-kissing

FlitterBug05 , Priscilla Du Preez Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
11 months ago (edited)

No way. Nicer??? I don't feel the need to be everybody's friend or that they should all like me. Why is this person not nice? who cares.

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